Former real estate broker Antonio Paolini was sentenced on Thursday to a total of 24 months’ imprisonment for theft from two clients, but the sentences were suspended for two years.
Mr. Paolini, 78, was found guilty by a jury in August 2017 of stealing $51,600 from a woman who paid for a parcel of land but never received it or her money back. That offense occurred in 2013.
Earlier this year, he went to trial on another charge of theft from a client, this one in 2014. At the close of the prosecution’s case, he changed his plea to guilty.
Justice Philip St. John-Stevens was the judge for the second trial and so passed sentence for both offenses.
He accepted the submission by defense attorney Alex Davies that Mr. Paolini had not used the money for himself, but for business expenses. The judge said this made the case different from those in which the offender stole to fund a lavish lifestyle.
He also noted Mr. Paolini’s age.
The sentence for the first theft was two years. For the second offense, because of the late guilty plea, it was 19 months. That term was made to run concurrently with the two years.
Justice St. John-Stevens suggested that the question of compensation be addressed in six months, when he expected to be back in Cayman for another matter. Thursday’s session was via Skype.
The judge suggested that Mr. Paolini might be able to come up with a payment plan meanwhile.
It was not immediately clear how much money was due to the second complainant/victim, because some had been repaid.